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November 25, 1994 - Image 58

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-11-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

At 18, Jeanne Schaller left home
to spread her wings.
At 81, she's doing it again.

Assisted Living at Springhouse,
opening soon.

She's an independent woman. But if she's going
to live her own life, she'll need a little assistance now
and then.
If you or someone you love is looking for a warm,
caring environment where independence is respect-
ed and a helping hand is always nearby, we can help.
Introducing Springhouse Assisted Living, open-
ing soon in Southfield.
We have a highly qualified staff to provide assis-
tance when it's needed, as well as features like an ice
cream parlor, formal dining room, country kitchen
and outdoor terrace to share with visiting family and
friends.
Regular wellness assessments let us work closely
with each resident to help them get the most out of

POLL BOOTH page 50

As for Israel's $3 billion, Mr.
Netanyahu said the country
should be "planning in advance
sitions coincide with ours, some to wean itself' from financial de-
pendency on the United States
don't."
But Mr. Netanyahu also said because the election underlines
that GOP control of Congress the growing American intoler-
would make it unlikely for the ance for foreign spending that has
PLO to get "unaccounted for" aid been under way since the end of
from the United States. Further, the Cold War. As for the likeli-
while the election will "strength- hood that peace will not bring the
en those who oppose sending windfall of American dollars the
troops to the Golan Heights," it Arabs are expecting, he said,
will, "in a paradoxical way ... "You can't buy real peace. It can't
strengthen Rabin's hand in de- be purchased by bribes. Real
manding concessions from As- peace is a function of a change of
heart." CI
sad."

said the GOP view of the peace
process "wasn't pro-Likud but
pro-American. Some of their po-

The Frozen Chosen

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Their numbers are low and intermarriage is high,
but Alaskan Jews are retaining their heritage.

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he Jews of Alaska, dubbed
The Frozen Chosen, are
creating a communal and
religious life that may well
point to the future pattern for all
of American Jewry.
That, says Rabbi Harry Rosen-
feld, means congregations like
his Beth Sholom in Anchorage.
Half the members are intermar-
ried, a high proportion have not
converted, and in practically all
families, both parents work full
time.
These are the figures for An-
chorage, where around 70 per-
cent of Alaska's 3,000 Jews live.
In the state capital of Juneau,
with about 200 Jews, a commu-
nity leader says she knows only
five or six couples in which both
partners are Jewish.
In smaller towns, such as Sit-
ka, Kenai and Haines, all but one
or two couples are intermarried,
says Bernard Reisman, profes-
sor of contemporary Jewish stud-
ies at Brandeis University, who
is in the midst of an intensive de-
mographic census of Alaskan
Jewry.
Factor in that by migrating
here from the Lower 48, most
Alaskan Jews have severed their
ties to large urban Jewish com-
munities and extended families,
and conventional wisdom dic-
tates that the state's Jewry will
be totally assimilated and all but
disappear in a couple of genera-
tions.
Not so, according to the Bran-

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deis scholar. For one, in more cas-
es than not, "the non-Jewish

Tom Tugend is a free-lance writer

based in. Los Angeles.

partner acquiesces to being Jew-
ish, so actually we're gaining
there," he says.
Professor Reisman's analysis,
based on in-depth questionnaires
sent to 1,050 Alaskan Jews and
augmented by personal and
phone interviews, yields an even
more surprising finding.
"By every measure of Jewish
identity used in the U.S. National
Jewish Population Survey —
synagogue attendance, home rit-
ual, visits to Israel, etc. —
Alaskan Jews score higher than
Jews in the Lower 48 [continen-
tal United States]," he says.
To explain the seeming para-
dox, Professor Reisman specu-
lates that when Jews migrate to
the Last Frontier, they experi-
ence an often unacknowledged
sense of loneliness. They seek
surrogate ties for extended fam-
ilies left behind and ultimately
discover that their Jewishness is
more important to them than
they had thought.
The Brandeis academic also
found that the largest group of
Alaskan Jews originated from
the northeastern states, espe-
cially New York and New Jersey.
The second largest contingent
came from the Los Angeles area,
in a two-step process.
"The Angelenos first moved to
northwestern cities, like Seat-
tle and Olympia," says Professor
Reisman. "When they felt that
these cities were becoming too
crowded and life too intense, they
moved on to Alaska."
To pull together the state's
scattered Jews, Professor Reis-
man and resident Jewish lead-
CHOSEN page 54

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